Central Information Commission

What is the role of Central Information Commission?
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  • In 2005, the Central Government established the Central Information Commission. Under the requirements of the Right to Information Act (2005), it was established by an Official Gazette Notification. As a result, it is not a constitutional entity.
  • The Central Information Commission is a powerful independent organization that investigates complaints and makes decisions on appeals. It hears complaints and appeals on the Central Government’s offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, and other entities, as well as the Union Territories.
  • A Chief Information Commissioner and no more than ten Information Commissioners make up the Commission. When it was first established, the Commission had five commissioners, including the Chief Information Commissioner.
  • Apart from the Chief Information Commissioner, the Commission now has six Information Commissioners. They are selected by the President after a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister makes its recommendation.
  • They should be prominent figures with extensive knowledge and expertise in areas such as law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media, and administration and governance. They should not be members of the House of Commons or the legislatures of any state or union territory. They should not have any other paid position, be affiliated with any political party, or engage in any company or profession.

Conditions Of Service And Tenure

The Chief Information Commissioner and each Information Commissioner shall serve for the duration of the Central Government’s mandate or until they reach the age of 65, whichever comes first. They are ineligible to be re-appointed.

Under the following circumstances, the President has the authority to remove the Chief Information Commissioner or any other Information Commissioner from office:

(a) if he is declared bankrupt; or

(b) if he has been convicted of a crime that, in the President’s judgement, entails moral turpitude; or

(c) if he engages in any paid work outside of his official duties during his tenure of office; or

(d) if he is (in the President’s judgement) unsuitable to continue in office due to mental or physical incapacity; or

g) if he has acquired a financial or other interest that is likely to jeopardize his official duties.

In addition, the President has the authority to remove the Chief Information Commissioner or any other Information Commissioner for misbehavior or incapacity. In some situations, however, the President is required to refer the subject to the Supreme Court for investigation. The President can remove him if the Supreme Court upholds the cause of removal and advises so after the investigation.

The pay, allowances, and other conditions of service for the Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner are set by the Central Government. During service, however, they cannot be changed to his detriment.

Powers and Functions

The Central Information Commission has the following powers and functions:

1. It is the Commission’s responsibility to receive and investigate any complaint:

(a) who has been unable to file a request for information due to the lack of a Public Information Officer;

(b) who has been denied access to requested information;

b) who has not received a response to his information request within the time frame indicated;

(d) who believes the fees charged are excessive;

a) who believes the information provided is incomplete, deceptive, or incorrect; and

f) any other matter connected to information gathering.

2. If there are reasonable grounds, the Commission can order an investigation into any situation (suo-moto power).

3. While conducting its investigation, the Commission has the authority of a civil court in the following areas:

(a) summoning and requiring the attendance of individuals, as well as compelling them to give sworn oral or written testimony and produce documents or things;

(b) requiring document discovery and examination;

c) receiving affidavit evidence;

d) obtaining any public record from any court or government agency;

e) issuing subpoenas for witnesses or documents to be examined; and

f) any other matter that the court may deem necessary.

4. During the course of an investigation into a complaint, the Commission may examine any record held by a public authority, and no such record may be withheld from it for any reason. In other words, during the investigation, all public records must be provided to the Commission for scrutiny.

5. The Commission has the ability to compel the public authority to follow its decisions. This includes the following:

(a) making information available in a specific format;

(b) in the absence of a Public Information Officer, directing the public authority to appoint one;

c) disseminating information or information categories;

d) implementing the necessary modifications to record management, maintenance, and destruction policies;

e) improving access to information training for government personnel;

f) requesting an annual report on compliance with this Act from the public authority;

g) requiring the public authority to pay the applicant for any loss or other harm sustained;

h) imposing penalties in accordance with this Act; and

I turning down the application.

6. The Commission submits to the Central Government an annual report on the execution of the Act’s provisions. This report is presented to each House of Parliament by the Central Government.

7. When a public authority fails to comply with the provisions of this Act, the Commission may provide recommendations to the authority on how to improve compliance.

National Commissions / Central Bodies and the Related Ministries

Sl. No. Commission / Body Falls Under
1. Central Information Commission Ministry of Personnel
2. Finance Commission Ministry of Finance
3. Union Public Service Commission Ministry of Personnel
4. Inter-State Council Ministry of Home Affairs
5. Staff Selection Commission Ministry of Personnel
6. National Commission for SCs Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
7. National Commission for STs Ministry of Tribal Affairs
8. Central Vigilance Commission Ministry of Personnel
9. Zonal Councils Ministry of Home Affairs
10. Central Bureau of Investigation Ministry of Personnel
11. National Investigation Agency Ministry of Home Affairs
12. Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities Ministry of Minority Affairs
13. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Ministry of Women and Child Development
14. National Commission for Backward Classes Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
15. Central Commissioner for Disabled Persons Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
16. Central Social Welfare Board Ministry of Women and Child Development
17. North Eastern Council Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region
18. Central Administrative Tribunal Ministry of Personnel
19. National Commission for Minorities Ministry of Minority Affairs
20. National Human Rights Commission Ministry of Home Affairs
21. National Commission for Women Ministry of Women and Child Development
22. Good and Services Tax Council Ministry of Finance
23. Lokpal Ministry of Personnel
24. National Investigation Agency Ministry of Home Affairs
25. National Disaster Management Authority Ministry of Home Affairs
26. Attorney General of India Ministry of Law and Justice
27. Solicitor General of India Ministry of Law and Justice
28. Law Commission of India Ministry of Law and Justice
29. Election Commission of India Ministry of Law and Justice
30. Delimitation Commission of India Ministry of Law and Justice

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